MPhil study projects

Opinions, perceptions and experiences of foreign nationals’ healthcare services access in Mamelodi, Pretoria

Student: Modikwe Patrick Modiselle

CountrySouth Africa

Previous research highlighted the hurdles encountered by foreign nationals in accessing healthcare at public facilities in South Africa. This study aimed to explore the opinions, perceptions and experiences of foreign nationals regarding healthcare services, and their impact on healthcare-seeking behaviour in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, data was gathered through snowball sampling and questionnaires from 41 Zimbabwean nationals.

The findings revealed that 64% were required to provide identification and 59% proof of residence. Communication barriers were encountered by 34% of participants, necessitating ad hoc interpreters. Other obstacles included upfront user fees, xenophobic attitudes and long wait times attributed to healthcare staff inefficiency. Additionally, a small percentage was denied services based on nationality.

Although 54% rated healthcare workers’ attitudes positively, challenges persisted. Strategies such as formal interpreter services and training healthcare workers on foreign patients’ rights and cultural competence are crucial for enhancing patient-provider interactions and healthcare-seeking experiences for foreign nationals.